I've removed several feral hives in the last few years. The last one from a few days ago. I picked up a feral hive that had just started 3 days prior on a overhang of a house. They had already made some cone, but it was still bare of honey, and brood. The new/young feral hive went into the box with little truble. I found, marked, and caged the queen. The next day I released the queen, and put some syrup in the top of the hive.
Well the bees would have none of it. At the first break in the clouds off they went to a tree 100yrds or so away. So out I went, putting them back into the box.
What could I have done to keep them put? Should I have kept the queen caged longer? What about closeing the box up all together for 24 to 48 hrs, or putting a frame of eggs and brood in with them?
Swarm lure might help.
Lemongrass oil or Honey Bee Healthy in the hive might help.
You can put a queen excluder on the bottom to act as a queen includer and then the queen can't leave, but she is free in the hive.
You can buy a disk from www.beeworks.com that will cover a round opening with a queen excluder, close up etc. and then you can build a swarm box with a solid bottom and no entrance and drill a round hole for the entrance. Then you use the disk to make it a queen includer or closed but ventilated or open. Your choice. Now you can close it to take it home, open it to the queen includer for the frist couple of weeks, and then open it up and them move them to a real hive.
error trying to post, sorry. Tried to edit and submitted message that needed changing.
[This message has been edited by dragonfly (edited May 21, 2003).]
Can worker bees fit through 1/4" hardware cloth openings, or is that too small? I've wondered if you could staple some to the hive entrance to keep the queen from leaving but allow workers to come and go. It would be much simpler than using the queen excluder below the super, which is what I'm doing at the moment.
Yes, worker bees can fit through 1/4" hardware cloth. But, I think queens can too???
What was in the "box" that the swarm went into? Foundation? Drawn comb? I start all new hives, either package or swarms on drawn comb and add a frame of eggs and one of honey from another hive to help anchor them to their new home. I also would have waited 3 days before releasing the queen to allow the bees to get established.
Sorry for not replying sooner. All I have left is foundation...I always use my drawn comb first. I think you are right about the queen, I should have kept her caged for a few days to let them get moved in. I thought about putting a frame of brood/eggs from another hive, but wasn't sure...didn't want to came back in a day or so with a lost frame of dead brood. Thanks for the info everybody.